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Fitness Find or Fitness Flop? You Decide!

Jun 24, 2010

(Almost) Barefoot Running
Several research studies and articles have emerged about the potential benefits of tossing the “tennies” and running barefoot. On the heels of these claims, many consumers and fitness professionals are joining the barefoot revolution. But what about potential road hazards, such as broken glass and sharp rocks? One company offers a slightly more protective alternative to the naked foot. According to the Vibram FiveFingers® website, unique footwear “offer[s] the exhilarating joy of going barefoot with the protection and sure-footed grip of a Vibram® sole.” The company boasts increased muscular activation, leg strength and joint mobility. Are these claims founded, or is this another fad?

Taco Bell Diet?
The consumer market is loaded with various diet programs promising weight loss. One of the most recent contenders in the diet market is Taco Bell®, with its Drive-Thru Diet® Menu, which consists of seven items with 9 grams of fat or less. It might seem illogical to include “Taco Bell” and “diet” in the same sentence; however, the fast-food organization claims that its goal in this instance is to provide consumers with lower-calorie items. The company has its own Subway®-style success story in Christine, a regular customer who wanted to lose the weight, but not the fast food. According to, Christine succeeded by choosing lower-calorie, lower-fat items from the menu: “I reduced my daily calorie and fat intake by 500 calories to 1,250 calories a day. These results aren't typical, but for me they were fantastic!”

“The diet menu items can help with calorie reductions of 20–100 per item compared to corresponding products on our regular menu,” states the Taco Bell website. The company is quick to point out that, despite a caloric reduction, these are not low-calorie foods. What do you think? Is this a clever marketing scheme designed to boost sales, or can the Drive-Thru Diet promote healthy decision-making among customers?

Note: This column puts the power of deciding what and who is hot or not in the industry in your hands. The list will also be compiled on the IDEA website at Check back each month to see the running tally of products, people and initiatives.

At the end of the year, we will have a poll on our website forIDEA Fitness Journal readers to choose the top Fitness Find and Fitness Flop. We will then publicly announce our awards, showing the good judgment, advocacy and expertise of IDEA members!

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite finds and flops. Send all comments and nominations to Ryan Halvorson at for consideration. Please do not expect a response.

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 8, Issue 7

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